This one was written sometime ago, a little out of context now that we’re shivering to the bones in Winter but hey, here it is…
Ajumma – an older Korean women, middle-aged to elderly. Usually small, crouched and grey in appearance, and regularly donning a sun-visor and hiking gear. Known to congregate at bus stops in larger packs, ajummas are usually of a friendly disposition though they may become physically aggressive in their attempts to board or dismount public transport. They possess a rarely used burst of acceleration that is often employed when the bus arrives.
The shadows were thin and stretched out across the sidewalk, having just enough capacity to accommodate one lucky soul in the shade. The sun was high in the sky; 3pm.
With a dry tickle in his throat, he looked at the refuge with a longing lust in his eyes. Glancing to his left, the open road showed no sign of the bus yet. The sun continued to blaze down without mercy. He needed restbite, if only for a minute.
Focusing his gaze back upon the shadows, he locked eyes with a rival coming his way.
An ajumma, hunched over, laboriously pushing her shopping cart towards the bus shelter like an aging tortoise nudging a busted football through a cobblestone street. Chances are she would need a seat after such a mission, but he couldn’t take the risk. This was survival of the fittest.
With feet as swift as the great Messi, he glided across the sidewalk into the shadowy Shangri-La and breathed contently where the air was cool and his eyes could open fully.
The ajumma grumbled as she puffed her way past and continued down the street. Feeling the sense of guilt leave him, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the moment.
Opening them, he caught his reflection in the shop window. Standing there in dark trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and tie, he questioned his intentions to dress professional for the first few weeks, as it was certainly a challenge in the summer sun.
The long-sleeves; a painful necessity….it would have been a lot easier if those tattoos were on his back….
The sweat beads rolled down his forehead as he contemplated going inside the shop to rehydrate. “Chris!!”, came the call from his co-teacher. Too late….the bus was here. With a sigh, he picked up his bag and stepped back into the white light.
Roll on winter!